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85th Academy Awards Preview and Predictions - Page 3 of 3

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Best Director

Nominees:
Michael Haneke – Amour
Ang Lee – Life of Pi
David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg - Lincoln

Before these surprising nominees were announced, Affleck or Bigelow and Lincoln seemed like a believable Director-Picture split. Now, I don't see how Spielberg could lose in this lot. The most surprising of all nominees, young Zeitlin has no chance at all, but should feel honored to have been recognized for his first feature film. Lee might have a shot, but he's already won. Foreign films have historically been limited in their Oscars, so Haneke seems unlikely. Russell's film is beloved, but remember that the Academy is comprised primarily of actors. Actors who are sure to have taken Lily Tomlin's side in those infamous I Heart Huckabees set fight videos that went viral years ago.
Those are ten years old, Christian Bale was able to overcome his outburst with his win for Russell's previous film (but his rage was directed at crew members, a smaller part of the votership), and the fact that Russell is even nominated may point at forgiveness. Still, no one has a legacy anywhere near Steven Spielberg and someone with such an outstanding body of work probably deserves three Best Director Oscars, even if it's Lincoln that gets him it.

Who Should Win: Ang Lee or David O. Russell of the nominees; Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow or Quentin Tarantino of the snubbed

Lee and Russell made better films with less talent at their disposal. Meanwhile, the fine docudramas of Affleck and Bigelow make their omissions among the most dubious in a long time. Affleck is the first Directors Guild Award winner not nominated for the corresponding Oscar since Apollo 13's Ron Howard and will be the first to win the DGA but not the Oscar since Chicago's Rob Marshall. Who'd have thunk that the Golden Globes would have a far more interesting field of nominees in this category?!

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Hushpuppy (Quvenzhanι Wallis) has an up close and personal encounter with a giant, prehistoric auroch in "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Best Lead Actress

Nominees:
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhanι Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Who Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

True, at 22 years old and with an incredibly bright future, Lawrence is one of the actresses here most likely to return. But, while Sunday may be Riva's 86th birthday and that makes for a nifty story (not to mention Oscar history), this year belongs to Lawrence. I think this award kind of takes Hunger Games into account, but Lawrence deserves it for Silver Linings alone. I would be happy with Chastain winning too, but at this point that would be a surprise, given the way her film's stock has perceived to be dropping since the short-lived torture controversy. I'm glad that Wallis was nominated.

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook


Best Lead Actor

Nominees:
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln
Hugh Jackman - Les Misιrables
Joaquin Phoenix - The Master
Denzel Washington - Flight

Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Who Should Win: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

As expected, Daniel Day-Lewis gives great Lincoln. His inevitable third Oscar win in six nominations is astonishing considering his selectivity but at the same time, well-deserved due to his considerable craft. Still, while we've seen Day-Lewis transform and immerse himself in a compelling period drama before, we haven't seen anything quite like Joaquin Phoenix's frighteningly committed performance. Phoenix could have won for Walk the Line and probably won't be back anytime soon. Plus, it'd be a shame for a cinematic achievement like The Master not to win any Oscars. But this one has already been decided and Phoenix's nomination, doubted at times, is acknowledgement in itself.

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln


Three levels of airport security pose a serious challenge to the American diplomats posing as a Canadian sci-fi film crew in the Oscar-nominated drama "Argo."

Best Picture

Nominees:
Amour, produced by Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, and Michael Katz
Argo, produced by Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, and George Clooney
Beasts of the Southern Wild, produced by Dan Janvey, Josh Penn, and Michael Gottwald
Django Unchained, produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, and Pilar Savone


Les Misιrables, produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, and Cameron Mackintosh
Life of Pi, produced by Gil Netter, Ang Lee, and David Womark
Lincoln, produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy
Silver Linings Playbook, produced by Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, and Jonathan Gordon
Zero Dark Thirty, produced by Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, and Megan Ellison

What Will Win: Lincoln or Argo

I know that Lincoln hasn't won many or even any of the recent awards used to prognosticate the Oscar's top prize. But it is such a safe, standard mold and the nominations were all aligned in its favor that I won't be convinced of its loss until a different winner is announced. Though the nominations threw everybody off, myself included, this is one of the more unpredictable Best Picture races I've ever seen. The above two are considered the frontrunners, but I could even see Silver Linings Playbook and maybe even Life of Pi winning at this point. The recent indicators point to Argo, but it will have to defy history to win.

What Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, or Argo

I'd be happiest with the above three and okay with Life of Pi or Django Unchained winning. Beasts will not win, and it may not even be a better film than Lincoln, but it'd at least be a novel choice and not such conventional awards bait. Speaking of which, Les Mis doesn't deserve it. And I still haven't seen Amour.

DVDizzy.com Readers' Choice: Argo

What Should Have Been Nominated: The Dark Knight Rises

Four of the year's best-reviewed films were also its four highest grossing ones: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, and Skyfall. While Skyfall got plenty of recognition in the minor categories, the other three have a grand total of one Oscar nomination (The Avengers for Visual Effects). Though I don't hate any of this year's contenders, it is a little troubling just how often the Academy and the public are out of touch. To me, The Dark Knight Rises is the best of the year's crowd-pleasers and deserves to have been recognized with this nomination that its even more esteemed predecessor failed to get. Wasn't that the very point of the category's expansion? 2012 has been a strong year for film, but I'd have been okay replacing most of these with Nolan's trilogy-ender or even The Hunger Games, for that matter. Or just give one of them the tenth spot that seems destined to go unused. Great blockbusters (and even merely okay ones, like The Towering Inferno) were regularly represented in the 1970s when there were just five nominees. But this is the second year in a row where worthy films were snubbed seemingly only for being "too mainstream" for the hipster Academy.

Related Article: The Films of 2012 - Ranked and Reviewed

Jump to a Category:

Page 1:

Supporting Actress • Original Screenplay • Adapted Screenplay • Animated Feature • Animated Short

Production Design • Costume Design • Makeup and Hairstyling • Cinematography • Live-Action Short

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Supporting Actor • Documentary Feature • Documentary Short • Visual Effects • Sound Editing

Sound Mixing • Film Editing • Original Score • Original Song • Foreign Language Film

Page 3:

Director • Lead Actress • Lead Actor • Picture

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Posted February 22, 2013, two days before the 85th Academy Awards ceremony.



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